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AMSA’s search ends for missing helicopter pilot off Port Hedland

Friday 16 March 2018
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has suspended its search operations for a missing helicopter pilot off Port Hedland. Following an extensive two-day search, there have been no sightings of the missing pilot.

The search began following the helicopter crash just before midnight on Wednesday. One of the pilots was rescued, injured but safe, from a life raft at about 1 am, while the other pilot remains missing.

Over the course of Thursday and Friday vessels and aircraft have systemically searched an area of more than 1000 square kilometres, with some areas searched several times. Weather conditions for searching were good and there was a high probability that a survivor in the water would have been detected. Sadly, there is no sign of the missing pilot.

AMSA extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the missing pilot.

Western Australia Police have assumed coordination of the incident and will continue planning for a sub-surface search for the wreck of the helicopter.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will investigate the incident.

AMSA would like to thank crews for their dedicated efforts, including teams at Western Australia Police, Volunteer Marine Rescue Port Hedland, Pilbara Ports Authority, Port Hedland Pilots, Vessel Traffic Services, Aviator Group and State Emergency Service.